What the #?!$ is Hanukkah?: 10 Songs to Help You Figure It Out
Impress your Jewish friends with this fun fact: this isn't just any old menorah, which has seven branches, it's a nine-branched hanukiah specifically for the Hanukkah holiday!
Photo via Wikipedia.org
It's December now, and the holiday season is rapidly approaching. If you're a Christian, you know the reason for the season is the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus H. Christ. But one thing you may have noticed is that we don't live in a Christian nation, contrary to the beliefs of commentators such as Bill O'Reilly and Glenn Beck.
No sir, the world don't beat to the sound of just one drum. In this country, we're a melting pot and that means a lot of people have different reasons for the season. The two most famous are Hanukkah and Kwanzaa. You may be aware of these other December holidays, but you might have no idea what they mean.
Today we'll focus on Hanukkah. The Festival of Lights is a minor Jewish holiday, which is often a big deal because of its proximity to Christmas. In other words, it gives Jews something to celebrate so they don't feel left out.
The story behind it, though, is pretty inspiring. "What is the story behind Hanukkah?" you might find yourself asking.
Well, friends, I could tell you the story, which is actually pretty entertaining since it's sort of like Star Wars when you think about it, but why don't I just show you through the power of song?
10. Gods of Fire, "Eight Days of Victory"
This song comes from a whole album of metal Hanukkah songs, in case you thought Christmas the only holiday to require metal renditions of its famous songs.
9. They Might Be Giants, "Feast of Lights"
8. The Klezmatics, "Hanuka Gelt"
With lyrics by Woody Guthrie, who wrote a lot of Hanukkah songs for some reason.
7. Rubinchik's Yiddish Ensemble, "The Dreidle Song"
The classic song about the spinning tops reinterpreted.
6. Erran Baron Cohen, "Hanukkah, Oh Hanukkah"
Sasha Baron Cohen's brother produces a lot of songs about Jewish subjects, including this Hanukkah classic with a video featuring dancing Chasidim.
5. "Smooth-E" Eric Schwartz, "Hanukkah Hey Ya"
A rampant Internet meme a few years ago, this is, as you would expect, a Hanukkah-themed parody of "Hey Ya" by OutKast.
4. Barenaked Ladies, "Hanukkah Blessings"
Like They Might Be Giants, Barenaked Ladies produce equal-opportunity holiday songs.
3. Woody Guthrie, "Hanukkah Dance"
Like I said before, Woody Guthrie, who was not Jewish, wrote a lot of Hanukkah songs for some reason.
2. The Maccabeats, "Candelight"
Along with Smooth-E's "Hanukkah Hey Ya," this is maybe the most popular viral-Internet-meme Hanukkah song.
1. Chanan Elias and Mitch Clyman, "Chanukah: Rock of Ages"
With the Rock of Ages musical/movie and the fact that "Rock of Ages" is a Hanukkah classic, this should have been expected.
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